Mallory Edens got the attention of both the basketball and rap worlds Thursday night. The daughter of Milwaukee Bucks owner Wes Edens was donning a Pusha-T shirt courtside during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. This was widely seen as a response to Drake for his sideline antics during Games 3 and 4 in Toronto.
The Raptors superfan and rap star famously beefs with fellow rapper Pusha-T. This rivalry spans diss tracks and disputes between labels over the last decade and a half. Here’s what you need to know about the history of this very public beef.
1. Pusha-T Also Has a History with Lil’ Wayne, Who Owns Drake’s Record Label Young Money
The seeds of the feud go back to 2003 when Lil’ Wayne worked for Cash Money Artists. Pusha-T’s brother worked with Pharrell Williams for the label on a song called “What Happened to That Boy” by Birdman. After the two ran into pay disputes, Williams left the label and Clipse fell into relative obscurity.
According to Highsnobiety, Lil’ Wayne adopted a lot of the pair’s aesthetic and style into his own work, leading to a response diss track from Clipse.
After Lil Wayne donned BAPE on the cover of Vibe magazine and wore Billionaire Boys Club in his music video for “Hustler Musik” back in 2006, Clipse released a song called “Mr. Me Too,” calling out those who had copied the duo’s sartorial choices in the lyrics. For example: “N***a bite the style from the shoes to the watches…”
…Lil Wayne responded to Clipse’s track and the whole BAPE controversy in a cover story with Complex that same year, saying in reference to Pharrell, “That n***a wore BAPEs and y’all thought he was weird. I wore it and y’all thought it was hot.”
After Cash Money Artists, Lil’ Wayne worked for Young Money alongside such burgeoning stars as Drake. Now, Wayne is the sole owner with Drake as one of his main artists. This connection, plus the previous history with Pusha-T’s brother, contributed to the current tension.
2. They Started Dissing Each Other on Tracks in 2011
Capital Xtra, a rap station in the UK, provides a beat for beat timeline of the various diss tracks Drake and Pusha-T have thrown at each other. The first came in 2011, when the latter accused the Canadian rapper that he doesn’t even write his own lyrics.
Pusha T (real name Terrence LeVarr Thornton) regularly called out Drake for not writing his own bars and using ghostwriters, all while Drizzy claimed to be one of the greats. Drake first sent shots at Pusha T in defence of his mentor and close friend, Lil Wayne and that’s when things went left.
In 2012 during the “Exodus 23:1” track, he ripped into Lil’ Wayne and Drake by talking about their “f—d up contract” at Cash Money Artists. This is a clear reference to the bad experience Pusha-T’s brother had at Wayne’s early label. Wayne responded simply by tweeting “f– pusha t and anybody that love em.”
The shots fired back and forth, with Drake defending his mentor in 2013’s “Tuscan Leather,” and Pusha-T once again making ghostwriting accusations. Capital Xtra writes about the track that sent Pusha over the top.
On Drake’s “More Life” mixtape released in 2017 he responded to Pusha T by claiming that the 41-year-old was not as big of a drug dealer as he makes out in his music. He released a track called “Two Birds, One Stone” where he seemingly threw shots at Pusha T after dismissing comments that Drake was a “priviledged kid”. He said; “But really it’s you with all the drug dealer stories/ That’s gotta stop, though/ You made a couple chops and now you think you Chapo.
Pusha-T talked on Ebro in the Morning in May 2018 about how questioning his “street validity” led to his biggest response yet.
“I feel like the Drake thing more recently was just about the ‘Two Birds, One Stone’ record,” he said. “Questioning my validity to the streets, and so on and so forth in that verse. It’s fine, that’s what it was, but if we’re going to question things, now it’s my turn to question.”
3. Drake Felt Pusha-T Got Too Personal in “Story of Adidon”
Pusha-T’s big response came in the form of “Story of Adidon,” which touches on subjects ranging from Drake’s alleged illegimitate son named Adonis with former porn star Sophie Brussaux. The cover of the song also featured Drake in blackface during his acting days in 2007.
Per Capital Xtra:
Pusha T raps: “Your father walked away at five, hell of a dad thing” he continued: “You are hiding a child, let that boy come home/ Deadbeat mothaf*cka, playin’ border patrol/ Adonis is your son.”
There were also references to Drake’s producer Noah “40” Shebib’s multiple sclerosis. This is where Drake had a problem, which he addressed on HBO’s “The Shop” in October 2018 (per Pitchfork).
I’m gonna tell you something, I knew something was gonna come up about my kid. They had to add the deadbeat dad thing to make it more appealing, which is fine. The mom and dad thing… Whatever. You don’t even know my family. But wishing death upon my friend who has MS… I study rap battles for a living. When you mention defenseless people who are sick in the hospital, who have passed away, I just believe that there’s a price you have to pay for that. It’s over!
4. Kanye West Has Denied Accusations That He Provided Personal Information to Pusha-T for His Diss Track Lyrics
Whereas Drake has Lil’ Wayne is his corner, Pusha-T is backed by G.O.O.D. Music founder Kanye West. Despite rumors that the inside information on Drake came from West, who have their own lengthy and complicated relationship, both Pusha-T and West flat-out denied the speculation.
The information came from (Shabib),” Pusha-T said to Fader. “It didn’t come from Kanye, at all.”
West, on the other hand, levelled several tweets in Drake’s direction, both denying his involvement and attempting to broker a peace in the feud.
“This is all Jedi level,” he tweeted. “I will be coming to your show within the next seven days to give love and be inspired by the art you have created.”
5. Drake is No Longer Engaging in the Battle
The feud has seemed to settle, as Drake has not responded with another diss track since “Story of Adidon.” Pusha-T says he has more incriminating material and was ready “for the long haul.”
“I was in it for the long haul… for hip-hop,” he told Complex this past December. “I thought this was going to be a running thing, back-and-forth. I was sure he’d have a rebuttal.
“I did what I wanted to do. I only deal in truth, how I see things. When you’re dealing with words, it’s a way of dealing with truth and how the [public] process that, how they interpret that. And what touches them and what touches the person you’re going against. I actually thought we were going to keep on.”
His appearance on HBO, the statement about the blackface and the general ugly nature of “Story of Adidon” has seemed to put out any motivation for this battle to continue.